First Minister encourages everyone to give the gift of life this Christmas

The First Minister Carwyn Jones (on Tues 20th Dec) visited the Kidney Wales Children’s Kidney Centre at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff to encourage everyone to give the gift of life this Christmas by signing up to the organ donation register.

He met the staff and children at the centre awaiting kidney transplants. The Kidney Wales Children’s Kidney Centre offers specialist inpatient care to children with kidney disease and renal failure.

The Welsh Government is currently seeking views on the detail of how a soft opt-out system for deceased organ and tissue donation in Wales would work.

The First Minister handed out gifts to the children on the ward, met their families and staff before touring the unit.
The First Minister said: “It is great to come here and see the excellent work being carried out by both Kidney Wales and the NHS who provide superb support to children and their families going through such a difficult time. We have come a long way with organ donation. The number of people in Wales currently signed up to the donor register is 31 per cent.

“However we need to go further and the current shortage of donors continues to cause otherwise preventable death and suffering. We want to make more organs available for donation and I would encourage everyone to consider signing up to the existing organ donation register. By increasing the number of people on the register we could improve the lives of many people.

“Our proposals to introduce a soft opt-out system of organ and tissue donation will mean people are more likely to make decisions about donation during their lifetime and to have discussed their wishes with their family. This is something I would encourage everyone to do this Christmas.

“Repeated surveys have shown that the overwhelming majority of people in Wales believe in organ donation, but only one in three people in Wales have joined the register.

“A soft opt-out system will not change the medical treatment patients are given, up to and including the time of death but it will increase the number of organs and tissues available.”

Raj Aggarwal, Chair of Trustees at Kidney Wales said “Families are affected deeply when waiting for a transplant and the First Minister understands the hope needed especially at this time of year. Our campaigning is essential after our £100,000 refurbishment of the Children’s Centre last year.”

Roy J. Thomas Executive Chairman of Kidney Wales, who are campaigning to change the law on organ donation said “We are fully behind Government’s proposals in Wales to change the law. This is a progressive change and will increase more organs for donation in Wales and the UK. The First Minister met families today who deserve all our support. ”First Minister encourages everyone to give the gift of life this Christmas

The First Minister Carwyn Jones (on Tues 20th